Chapter 6

Sorry I didn't finish my letter last night. I had to stop for family dinner. Dad's been really strict about that lately. The other night, I thought his brain was gonna melt out of his ears because Papa was late.

Anyway, the Exos caught me quick and one of them lifted me up so we were eye to eye and…

I get why people are scared now. I mean, I was more scared of getting in trouble than anything else. But looking into those eyes was…

Spooky. Almost like being somewhere so dark you can't see your hands in front of your face, though you can feel they're there.

I couldn't look away, even as I heard the other one asking what they should do with me. If it'd be easier if I just went missing.

Then all of a sudden, its eyes went dark, and I fell to the ground. A second later, it collapsed in a sparking metal heap next to me.

I must've started running again. The next thing I remember was coming back to the empty classroom, holding Mihaylova and Calumet, and looking at the penguins that got left behind. Some of them were lying on the floor!

For some reason, that made me mad. Maybe I'm too old for plushies, but at least I take care of mine. So I picked out the ones that looked lonely and ran home across the building to hide them under my bed. Then I went back outside to find my class, just as the teachers were counting everyone up.

No one had even noticed I was gone.

Which means they don't know who took the penguins either. So now I have nine penguins: Mihaylova, Calumet, Hardy, Qiao, Clovis, Willa, Alton, Elsie, and Ana.

Your friend,